Top 10 Prospect Matchups: Week SevenPremium
From week to week, there are marquee matchups between powerhouse programs on the college baseball scene that catch the eye. These matchups have potentially significant ramifications when it comes to the standings and long term postseason hopes. But, when you look at the college game through the eyes of a scout, and look at some of the matchups within a series, some very different showdowns become all the more intriguing.
Each week here at D1Baseball.com, we will provide a ranking of the best and most intriguing matchups between prospects that college baseball has to offer. Some of these matchups will be specific in nature (two top pitching prospects squaring off) and others will be between two exceptionally talented rosters. Essentially, the rankings are considered on the basis of how significant the matchup is looking at it through a scouting and draft lens. The goal is to shine a light on some lesser known quantities that deserve attention from the scouting world, and to highlight very specific aspects of some of the already highly talked about, marquee series from around the nation. Although professional scouts are currently focused on 2016, we also consider the 2017 and 2018 draft classes for the purposes of this list.
(This is not a ranking that reflects the overall rankings of teams in our weekly top 25. It’s a ranking of specific matchups that are particularly intriguing to scouting community.)
1. Vanderbilt @ South Carolina – Sheffield vs. Schmidt
Showdowns don’t come bigger than this one between Vanderbilt and South Carolina, and the best news is that they have grade A, blue chip prospects squaring off as true aces in game one. These are pitchers worthy of being headliners for these two national powerhouses. On the Vanderbilt side, there is Jordan Sheffield, a righty who now fulfilling the promise scouts long knew he had. Pitching with a mostly 93-97 mph fastball, Sheffield also has an advanced, above average changeup to go with his sharp breaking ball. When he’s at his best, he has three above average offerings, with two grading out as plus or better. If he continues to to stay out of the middle of the plate and command his fastball, he could be working himself into the top half of the first round picture. Clarke Schmidt, the South Carolina ace, has positioned himself early as one of the best 2017 draft prospects in college baseball. Schmidt will attack the Vanderbilt lineup with a 91-94 mph fastball, topping at 95-96 at times. His command of his sharp, above average breaking ball could put him over the top as a first round selection next June. This is one of the most exciting pitching matchups we’ll see all spring.
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